10 Ridiculously Cheap Mountain Bike Upgrades

10 Ridiculously Cheap Mountain Bike Upgrades

So you just spent all your money on a new
mountain bike. It’s your pride and joy. You stare at it, pamper it, and of course
you ride it. Still, you want to spoil your bike but you’re
totally friggin broke. I’ve got your back, these 10 super cheap
upgrades can improve your bike, protect it, or just make it look nicer. Let’s get started. These plastic cable fasteners are known as
c-clips, and I’m pretty sure the C stands for crap because these always come loose and
leave your cables hanging. For this reason, professionals use zip ties. Multi colored zip ties are not only slimmer
and more secure, but they also can personalize your bike. Rather than matching your frame color, you
should try to choose an accent color from your components so they stand out. Zip ties can be purchased at a hardware store,
or online for just a few bucks. Since you have a bunch of zip ties, why not
use them to neaten up your brake and shift cables. Try to find a way to keep the cables from
hitting into each other, but still move freely as you steer. This will make your whole bike neater, quieter,
and better looking. When you take a hard landing, your chain will
sometimes hit your frame. This is called chain-slap, and the affected
area is called your chainstay. Look closely and there’s usually a clear
sticker there which offers some protection. To really protect your paint you can wrap
your chainstay with electrical tape. Of course this comes in many colors. If you use the high quality 3M stuff, it’ll
come off without leaving any residue. When the tape gets chewed up from the chain,
you can pull it off and replace it again to keep your bike looking fresh. Another way to protect your chainstay is with
a neoprene guard. These are often given away for free when you
order stuff, and they can be had for just a few bucks on Amazon. Since they’re fastened with velcro they
can be easily replaced or removed for cleaning. Keep your bike fresh and protect your chainstay. Entry level bikes come with standard grips,
which work great but are hard to get on and off for servicing. What’s worse, they’ll start to slip around
when they get dirty. Lock-on grips slide on and off easily, and
secure in place with screws. They’re more secure, and much easier to
work on, so all high end bikes come standard with lock ons. For 13 dollars, you can have a set of your
own, making them a huge upgrade for the price. To install them all you need is an allen key. Another part you’ll see on the handlebars
is the cap on the end, usually made of plastic or rubber. Aluminum bar ends are not only more durable,
but easier to get in and out during service. You can find them in lots of different colors
too, so they’re a great way to personalize your bike for just a few bucks. The sizing is universal, so just pick one
you like it should fit your bike. After a few rides and cleanings, you’ll
need to lube your drivetrain. You can use cheap bike oil, but synthetic
or even a dry lube will offer better protection. Since really good lube still doesn’t cost
that much, it seems like a no brainer if you want to take good care of your bike. Your shift levers are smooth, which can make
them slippery in muddy conditions. While I don’t personally have this problem,
many riders use zip ties, or even sandpaper to give them a grippier feel. Skateboard grip tape is a great way to make
grip pads for your shifters. Honestly I think it feels pretty cool and
gnarly. Grip tape can be had in many different colors
to personalize your bike, and like the other upgrades it’s super cheap. You can even use it to, you guessed it, protect
your chainstay. On your shift and brake cables, there’s
a little cap at the end to prevent fraying. It’s almost always a boring silver cap,
but it can be easily replaced with a cooler looking one. With a pack of multi colored cable ends, you
can add that finishing touch to your bike. It’s a tiny detail, but other riders who
like to tinker with their bikes will notice it. These can be squeezed on with crimpers or
pliers, so anyone can do it themselves. This plastic spoke guard is sometimes known
as the dork disc, and you’ll almost never find it on a high end bike or custom wheel
set. It’s there to protect your spokes if your
chain shifts off the cassette, but a properly maintained drivetrain won’t have that problem
anyway. So assuming you take good care of your bike,
the dork disk just rattles around, traps dirt in your cassette, and eventually turns yellow. With some difficulty you can cut it off, but
with the right tools you can de dorkify your bike in a much cleaner manner. Although this makes your bike look way better,
you should only remove your dork disc if you truly understand the implications. I almost never put valve caps on my bikes,
but on tubeless wheels a damaged stem can be costly and messy to replace. If you’re gonna protect your valve stem,
why not do it with an anodized aluminum cap that’s functional and attractive. They sell these online in packs with lots
of different colors to choose from. Everyone hates valve caps but at least these
look cooler than the plastic ones. Headset spacers are boring, but you can easily
replace them. These carbon spacers are probably the cheapest
carbon part you can get for your bike, and everyone knows that carbon is always better—well
not really. Just remove your stem, replace the spacers,
and put everything back together like it was. Don’t forget to tighten the top cap first
before securing the pinch bolts. Now, technically, you have carbon parts on
your bike, so this upgrade will give you major style points for cheap. So there you have it, ten super cheap upgrades
for your mountain bike. Until you recover financially from your bike
purchase, these mods should hold you over and give you some tinker time while you save
up for more crap. If you liked anything in this video, please
give it a thumbs up and share it with a rider who’s totally broke. I left links in the description for all the
stuff in the video. If you have any tips of your own, don’t
keep them to yourself, let us all know in the comments. And of course, subscribe to Seth’s Bike
Hacks for more weird bike stuff every week. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Awesome work Seth, I get cred on the trail now when I hang out with the bros there, thanks to following these tips. Now that the dork disc has gone and the addition of odd color cable end and ties, it has turned my life about, but now broke due the cash outlay with all the added bling, I cant wait to waste my life with trying more useless tips.

  2. So that’s what their called cable ends my mountain bike lost hers so I need to get her a new pair

  3. The biggest problem i have is with my derailer hanger they always snap i think the bike is just a jinx lol

  4. I wish there were foam locking handle grips like the old school beach cruisers but I guess after a.while the foam.will start falling apart…

  5. Dont use sandpaper on the shifter your just going to make your thumb and fingers sore, red and bleed if you constantly using them or if your finger slip. And dont use it for a chain stay as this will slowly wear away the chain as it hits the frame.

  6. tldw? zip ties to secure brake cables, chainstay protection with tape, lock-on grips, quality chain lubricant, shift lever grip tape, colored end crimps for the ends of your break cables, ditch the dork plastic disk by cassette, cooler looking / metal valve stems for tires. yw 🙂

  7. What’s your favorite type of biking mountain biking or BMX biking road biking or trail biking just let me know

  8. fuck aluminum bar ends mate,i put the thickest rubber ones i could find from mission and recently took a bar to the abdomen and got a nasty bruiser but atleast it wasnt aluminum because then i would have a hole straight through me guts mate,i dont muck around with me saftey mate!

  9. Put some carbon on the soles of your shoes, then when ever you walk the trail people will see your carbon footprint..

  10. All great ideas ive been using for years except stick with tape for chain slap ,grip tape will eat your chain up also for disc brake pads 100 grit sandpaper lightly across pads AFTER degreasing with alcohol or degreaser keeps rotors clean and stopping power at maximum

  11. I've never liked the bolt on grips, I have big hands and find them all too short. And if you leave the handle bar ends open, you can collect soil for your pot plants at home.

  12. Cool video, but dude….those volume levels on the music are really too much. I was frantically scrambling for my remote the first time I watched the video. Otherwise, keep it up 😃👍🏻

  13. The whole point of handlebar end caps being cheap, easily destroyed rubber is so you don’t scrape things… replacing them with aluminum doesn’t help.

  14. i put one of those caps on my shift cable and boom i noticed smoother shifting. also girls just come up to be now for some reason pretty cool

  15. I cut an inner tube in half and wrapped it around the frame and used coloured zip ties on both ends and it works really good for the chainstay

  16. 5:12 – Just bought a beginner MTB – The dork disc is staying on because THIS dork doesn't truly understand the implications! LOL

  17. The comments here is like going to the Apollo. All most have to do now is upgrade their man cave to store all the spare stuff left over that came in packs of 10,000 units.

  18. grip tape or grip paper it gets wet and falls apart you can use wet dry sandpaper which is even cheaper at the hardware store get at least 200 300 Grit

  19. a hack that I used is to take the accessories out of a tube repair kit, put them in a sandwich bag, roll them up and stick It in your seat tube

  20. Can anyone came up a solution to tighten up a shacken front end shocks? I opened the whole front end and place it back, but the result was same…. I have this problem now,can anyone help me?

  21. Everything is cool… but why in the entire video I never heard you say anything like “try first on your local bike shop to find what your looking for”. We need to support those small bike shops so they still be there when we need to do or buy anything we need from a knowledgeable person from this field. Internet won’t come and check on our bikes when we need an expert. I’ve been around bicycles and cyclists (track, roadies, mountain bikers and gravellers for 19 years and NOTHING BEATS THE KNOWLEDGE EXPERIENCE BRINGS… and that will be gone if we only think in buying online everything every time

  22. Mine's cool customize is that u just buy some normal plastic straws,then cut it and put it on ur surfaces. I have violet straws back wheel, and green straws front wheel. Good combo! and the straws looks really cool as ur riding ur bike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *